World first: Luxembourg swears in gay PM, deputy PM
n a world first, two openly gay men have been sworn in to lead a country.
Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel was sworn in yesterday to head a coalition government with the Greens and Socialist parties.
Etienne Schneider, head of the Socialist party, was named as his deputy Prime Minister.
And with two gay men leading the small European nation, marriage equality should only be a few months away.
Gay weddings will be done forthly,’ Bettel has promised.
‘At the moment in Luxembourg, we have to go through the situation of weddings, religion and divorce laws.
‘But I don’t think it’ll be in the next five years – it’ll be next year.’
Bettel is also aiming to replace Bible teachings in schools with classes aiming to teach children ethics without religion.
In a 2011 interview, Bettel said he hoped he had never made his sexuality a topic in politics for people to vote against or for.
‘I think people vote for my character and they vote for my full party,’ he said.
‘They’re just happy to see that I’m happy too – because if you’re happy at home, people can feel it and see that you’re doing your job well.
‘Sometimes it’s not easy because you have some conservative persons, but there are always less and less and less [of them].’
Bettel is also the third openly gay national leader in the world.
He follows Belgian current Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo and former Iceland retired Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir.